Too Many Tourists

What isn’t the least bit surprising is that little Florence attracts far too many tourists.  She has always has been a magnet for those seeking beauty.  What is surprising is that they no longer leave when summer turns to autumn.  In fact, they don’t even go home when autumn turns to winter and the weighty …

Coconut

Freakishly, I had my first fresh coconut in Florence.  This is rather surprising in an austere city of stone where the sun can disappear all winter long, and it is very hard to even track down a proper palm tree unless you make your way to the synagogue and peer through the garden’s gate for …

Pronti

I woke up this morning with a migraine sitting above my eyes banging on cymbals like an angry little toy monkey.  I could blame last night’s slow slip negroni, which was enjoyed at open mic night at The Goose, but that really couldn’t be it even though the waiter was Scottish and the drink was …

Underwear

There are some things you do in a foreign language that require a tremendous amount of bravery.  While I have negotiated shades of hair dye with my stylist and emergency dental work in Italian, I’ve never been brave enough to buy underwear.  I kid you not; this marks a major milestone in my language development. …

Pronouns

In Italian pronouns are a monster.  They wash up on the beach like that horrible dead fish in the final scene of La Dolce Vita and we all stand around in class, like Marcello Mastroianni’s crew, discussing how damn gross it is.   Tiny little words innocently fill adorable, perfectly symmetrical little charts.  Surely, they …

Birthday Promises

I am not sold on adult birthdays, but this year I had been promised the gift of Wi-Fi.  In the morning, I assuredly left the Telecom tech in my apartment with my landlady. With a fancy ladder like that, surely he knew what he was doing.  I thought, with stupidly misplaced American assurance, that it …

Round 10

Although Americans pretty much can’t agree on anything these days, I’d hazard a guess that Rocky Balboa is someone who we all still cheer for.  And telling me that you don’t like Rocky is like telling me you don’t like pizza.  I don’t believe you.  I, like you, still can’t believe that he got punched …

Et tu

Any historian worth their salt can give you a rundown of THE Ides of March. I just happen to be worth my salt.  Yeah, all those salty tears that I shed in Medieval Latin class when the grammar rules that I so long stood on went flying out the window.  Back in my day, we …

Topophilia

I am neither the first nor the last person to love stone. Pygmalion, who shunned the flaws of the women he met, set out to create a sculpture that was so inimitable that he couldn’t help but shower her with unadulterated adoration even before benevolent Aphrodite brought stone to life.  The statue appeared to glow …

Look

Carrie Fisher, George Michael, Alan Rickman, Prince, David Bowe, Harper Lee . . . they are all gone.  2016 ended with a collective human sigh and a GoFundMe drive to keep Betty White alive because humanity had had enough. But what about John Berger who died on January 2? It seems like 2017 took the …